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Durango High School basketball gets three to Southwestern League teams

Jordan Woolverton, Mason Rowland make first team

Durango High School’s Jordan Woolverton capped off a breakthrough season on the basketball court. He was named to the All Class 5A/4A Southwestern League team earlier this week, as he helped the Demons reach the first round of the Colorado High School Activities Association Class 4A state playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons.

Woolverton, a junior, was named to the first team All-SWL after he averaged 12 points per game. He also led the team in rebounding, as he averaged 4.5 per game, assists (1.4), blocks (0.4) and steals (1.0).

For Durango head coach Alan Batiste, he was impressed with the way Woolverton used his assertiveness to score more.

“I mean, coming out of nowhere, even from the second game of the season, the coaching staff knew he had the potential to score more,” Batiste said. “He’s always been trying to be under the radar and do the little things. We’ve had those scorers since his freshman year, and he wanted to take on a more active role. He started to attack the basket more and it paid off.”

The Demons finished 10-14, and went just 1-7 and finished in last place in league play. Woolverton’s athleticism played a key role down the stretch in league play and helped DHS secure a playoff spot. He finished in double figures 11 times, and scored 20-plus points on three different occasions. His season high was 21 points against Fruita Monument. Batiste believed it was that game that helped Woolverton get onto the first team.

“He was probably going to earn a second-team until that Fruita game, but he’s probably the most athletic player in the league,” Batiste said. “Montrose and Fruita has some good athletes, but Jordan stepped up big time this season. He took on a personal challenge where he realized he needed to improve in his post game, his 3-point shot and his opposite hand. He was in the gym everyday climbing, and he got better every day.”

Montrose had both the coach and player of the year, as Luke Hutto was named Player of the Year, while Ryan Voehringer was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Girls basketball

The Durango girls basketball team had two players named to the All-SWL team. Freshman Mason Rowland was named to the first team, while Emma Fitzgerald made second-team honors.

The duo were instrumental in helping the Demons reach the Class 4A Sweet 16, a 15-10 record overall and 5-3 in SWL play. Rowland led the team in scoring with 7.7 points per game and had a team-high 4.7 rebounds per game. Rowland recorded a season-high 18 points in Durango’s second-round win over Skyview. She reached double figures in six games. Fitzgerald, a senior, was the driving force behind Durango’s potent defense. She led the team in steals with 3.1 per game. Fitzgerald was the team’s second-leading scorer with 5.9 points per game and grabbed 2.7 rebounds per game.

Durango girls coach Tim Fitzpatrick said each deserved to make the team. “I’m extremely pleased,” Fitzpatrick said. “For Mason to make first team as a freshman, it’s great. It’s been a while since that’s happened. But she had a great year for anybody, but especially as a ninth grader. Emma was kind of the heart and soul of the team because of how hard she played. They both earned respect from coaches around the league, and it’s awesome to see.”

Fruita Monument’s Michael Wells was named the Southwestern League Coach of the Year, while Leah Redding of Grand Junction Central was named the Player of the Year.

bploen@durangoherald.com

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